|Born||Paul Franklin Crouch
March 30, 1934
St Joseph, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||November 30, 2013
Orange, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Evangelist, television network executive|
|Employer||Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)|
|Known for||Founder of TBN|
|Spouse(s)||Janice Bethany Crouch (1957–2013)|
|Children||Paul Crouch Jr.
Matthew Crouch Andrew Crouch
|Relatives||five grandchildren, including Brandon Crouch and Brittany Koper|
Crouch was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of Assemblies of God missionaries. Crouch, whose father died when he was seven years old, was mainly raised by his mother with the help of his grandparents. He soon became interested in amateur radio and announced he would use such technology to send the Gospel around the world. He graduated from the Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Missouri in 1955 with a degree in theology.
He also received three honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Litterarum (D.Litt) on May 29, 1981, from the California Graduate School of Theology, Glendale, California; a Doctor of Divinity on May 29, 1983, from the American Christian Theological Seminary, Anaheim, California; and a Doctor of Laws degree on May 5, 1985, from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Early broadcasting career
Crouch began his career in broadcasting by helping to build an educational AM station (KCBI-AM) on campus while a student at Central Bible Institute and Seminary. In 1957 he became a radio announcer at KRSD in Rapid City, South Dakota and progressed rapidly to program director. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to manager of sister station KRSD-TV, the NBC affiliate in Rapid City.
In 1961, he was appointed by the general council of the Assemblies of God to organize and operate their newly formed Department of Television and Film Production in Burbank, California, a position he held for four years. Crouch was responsible for the ongoing production of films focusing largely on foreign missions and foreign missionary works, as well as the Assemblies of God’s large inventory of audiovisual materials and children’s teaching aids.
From 1965 to 1970 Crouch was general manager of KREL radio in Corona, California. In 1966, he purchased a minority stock interest in KREL. During his time at KREL, he successfully completed the station's application for an increase in power to 5,000 watts.
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) history
Crouch left KHOF in 1973 and with his wife, Jan, founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). In 1974, TBN purchased its first TV station, KLXA-TV (now KTBN-TV). Since then, TBN has grown to become the United States' largest Christian television network, and the third largest group owner of broadcast TV stations in the U.S., with CBS, FOX, and NBC holding fourth, fifth and sixth place, according to TV News Check's annual listing of the Top 30 Station Groups. Forbes.com indicated that Paul F. Crouch had compensation of $402,244 in the Fiscal Year ending on 12/31/08.
TBN is viewed globally on 70 satellites and over 18,000 TV and cable affiliates. TBN is also seen on the web globally. TBN is carried on over 287 television stations in the U.S. and on thousands of other cable television and satellite systems around the world in over 75 countries, where their programming is translated into over eleven languages.
In the US, TBN’s coverage grew through agreements with national cable operators. TBN is viewed via major cable and satellite companies such as Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, DirecTV, AT&T, Dish Network, and Charter.
In addition to TBN, Crouch and his wife developed and oversaw operations for TBN’s affiliated television networks: Smile of a Child - children’s channel,[better source needed] JCTV - youth network,[broken citation] The Church Channel, TBN Enlace USA - Spanish language network,[not in citation given] TBNE-Italian, The Healing Channel - Arabic language network, TBN-Russia, TBN Nejat TV - Persian-language channel, and TBN-HD, TBN’s new high definition network.
Crouch died at his home in Orange, California, on November 30, 2013, after a decade-long fight with degenerative heart disease, his grandson Brandon Crouch told The Associated Press. Trinity Broadcast Network had reported that Crouch became ill and was taken to a Dallas area hospital in October while visiting the network's facility in Colleyville, Texas. Later he returned to California for continued treatment of "heart and related health issues."
Awards and citations
Crouch, the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Smile of a Child TV received the Parents Television Council Entertainment Seal of Approval, given to both the TBN and for producing and promoting programming that reflects their values.
Crouch was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Private Sector Initiative Project.
In May, 2009, the United Nations officially recommended the Smile of a Child Foundation to receive special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for the Democracy Coalition Project. The 19-member Committee recommends general, special, or roster status with the Council in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance, and financial regime. Special consultative status was recommended for "Smile of a Child, a United States-based organization, seeking to help world leaders alleviate poverty and improve the lives of children."
Criticisms and controversies
In 2000, Crouch was sued for $40 million by author Sylvia Fleener, who accused Crouch of plagiarism in his popular end-times novel (and subsequent movie), The Omega Code. Fleener's lawsuit alleged that the movie's plot was taken from her own novel, The Omega Syndrome. A former Crouch personal assistant, Kelly Whitmore, revealed that she had encountered a loose-leaf binder in Jan Crouch's luggage that the Crouches referred to as "the End Times project" and that he often called it "The Omega" but said he disliked the working title, "especially the word 'Syndrome'. After the defendant's motion for summary judgment failed the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
In September 2004 the Los Angeles Times reported that in 1998 Crouch paid Enoch Lonnie Ford, a former employee, a $425,000 formal settlement to end a wrongful termination lawsuit. The paper also reported that Ford had alleged a sexual relationship between the two men. TBN officials denied the allegations. On March 15, 2005, Ford appeared at the taping of the ION Television show Lie Detector. The show's producers decided not to air the show, and the outcome of the lie detector test was never released.
Crouch family members control the boards of all TBN entities, which makes TBN "ineligible to join" the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an evangelical self-regulating group. A May 2012 New York Times article noted the lavish personal spending of Paul and Jan Crouch, including "his-and-her mansions one street apart in a gated community" in Newport Beach, California. Paul Crouch received $400,000 in executive salary as president and his wife $365,000 as first vice president of TBN. Brittany Koper, a granddaughter of the Crouches who had authority over finances, claimed that TBN appeared to have violated the IRS ban on "excess compensation" by nonprofit organizations.
- Hello World! A Personal Message to the Body of Christ. (autobiography) (Nelson, 2003) ISBN 0-7852-6312-8
- I Had No Father But God
- The Omega Code: Another Has Risen from the Dead.
- Megiddo: The Omega Code 2
- Shadow of the Apocalypse. (Berkley Trade, October 5, 2004) ISBN 0-425-20011-6
- "Mediabiz's Mission is to use Real World data to solve the media industry's future challenges". Mediabiz.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "Heavenly success: TV's largest religious network continues to expand around the world, while adding shows aimed at reaching a much wider audience. (30th Anniversary)". Highbeam.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "Top Station Groups Stay The Course". TVNewsCheck.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- [dead link]
- "Watch Us". Tbn.org. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- [dead link]
- "Smile of A Child TV". Smile of A Child TV. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "Welkom bij Facebook - Meld je aan, registreer je of ontdek meer". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "JCTV". Jctv.org. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "A New Digital Network From TBN, the Leader in Religious Television". The Church Channel. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- [dead link]
- "Enlace - San José (Costa Rica) - Kabel- en satellietservice, Religieuze organisatie". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- [dead link]
- "TBN Awarded Seal of Approval by Parents Television Council". Parentstv.org. 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "Paul Crouch, Co-Founder Of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Dies". NPR.
- "COMMITTEE ON NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS REJECTS SPECIAL STATUS FOR GROUP, CLOSES FILE ON ANOTHER, APPROVES 10 APPLICATIONS WHILE DEFERRING 15 OTHERS". Un.org. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- News Service Report (5 January 2002) "West Virginia Woman Settles Suit with Network" The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York) page B-2
- Fleener v. Trinity Broadcasting Network, 203 F. Supp. 2d 1142 (5 September 2001, United States District Court for the Central District of California)
- Coker, Matt (11 January 2002) "A Clockwork Orange" OC Weekly (Orange County, California) page 10
- William Lobdell (September 22 2004). "Ex-Worker Accusing TBN Pastor Says He Had Sex to Keep His Job". Los Angeles Times.
- Lloyd Grove, "Born again: Evangelist sex scandal," New York Daily News, March 31, 2005
- Eckholm, Eric Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry New York Times May 4, 2012
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